more on oneness with distinction

by Andrea Elizabeth

continuing Ambiguum 5

The conjunction of these [humanity with divinity] was beyond what is possible but He for whom nothing is impossible became their true union, and was the hypostasis in neither of them exclusively, in no way acting through one of the natures in separation from the other, but in all that He did He confirmed the presence of the one through the other, since He is truly both.

As God, He was the motivating principle of His own humanity, and as man He was the revelatory principle of His own divinity. One could say, then, that He experienced suffering in a divine way, since it was voluntary (and He was not mere man); and that He worked miracles in a human way, since they were accomplished through the flesh…. “as God having become man, He lived His life among us according to a certain new theandric energy.” [Most of the quotes within the marks in Ambiguum 5 are from St. Dionysius, but some are from St. Gregory. I can’t prove this one goes along with the majority, but I assume it does.]

… Nonetheless it is not, as some would have it, “by the negation of two extremes that we arrive at an affirmation” of something in the middle, for there is no kind of intermediate nature in Christ that could be the positive remainder after the negation of two extremes.

While lighting a candle the other day I had the thought that people, like a wick, have the natural property to burn. Burning, not only is like deification, but like doing good works. When you first light a candle, it burns bright, then before it starts melting wax, it dims dangerously, and sometimes goes out. If it doesn’t, when it is fueled by wax, it is not consumed until the wax evaporates. Pelagians are like wicks without wax. Yes, they do what it is humanly natural to do, but they most likely will burn out. What about atheists that do good works? Or animals who are good mothers? They are still subject to getting tired and burning out. Even Christ subjected himself to the necessities of rest and nourishment, but His death was not a result of burning out. It was another voluntary submission to our condition in order to heal it, and then to go away so that the wax-giver could come and fill everyone up, not only to burn with human energy, but divine.

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